How to ignite passion in employees

In a recent webinar, we welcomed Ellen Drolette, educator and Founder of Positive Spin, LLC!  Ellen dove into the biggest factors that are impacting staff burnout today, and how to make lasting changes at our centers. Ellen shared tips and strategies on how to identify your current workplace culture, and reflect on how your culture might be impacting your administrators’ and educators’ mental health and wellness. 

Make sure to watch the webinar that inspired this blog post here!

One of the biggest roadblocks we face day to day as educators is burnout and turnover in staff. This also loops in with being short-staffed and all of the struggles that causes, which then leads again right into burnout and turnover. 

When passionate employees become quiet, that’s a red flag.

Ellen Drolette

How to manage unpassionate employees

We have all experienced educators that are not passionate about their job. It might be that teaching is not the right fit for them, or it could be that extenuating circumstances in their personal life or from the workplace environment are leading to dissatisfaction. The first step in managing unpassionate or deflated employees is to see these symptoms presenting themselves. Look for differences in demeanor, attitude, and personality in your colleagues and act on them. 

Communicate honestly and openly with other educators and check in with them. Show that you care and listen as they share how they are feeling. It is important to validate their feelings and show support. 

Then, the most important step is to act on the feedback you received from this person. If they are feeling underappreciated, ask them what a change in that looks like. If they have expressed what they need to feel better, do your best to give it to them. If they express that they are overworked, take something off of their plate. Even the smallest change can have a large impact on the employees’ state of mind.  

How to re-ignite the passion in current employees

In order to ensure a positive workplace environment, educators must have a positive attitude and be passionate about their work. In order to ensure our work environment remains a productive place for growth, try practicing the following: 

  • Gratitude. Being thankful for your fellow educators and the contributions they are making is so important. Voice your appreciation often and in different ways. You will be sure to see it come back to you! 
  • Energy is contagious. When one person is speaking positively and is in a good mood, other colleagues catch on and feed off of this. 
  • Optimism is powerful. When human beings grow their capacity to see and focus on the goodness in themselves, others, and the world; their social, emotional, and cognitive superpowers emerge.
  • Self-reflection is very important. When we think about what our values are and how we want to come across to others, we can connect these priorities with our actions and project our energy to others in our environment. 

How to hire passionate employees from the start

If you do your best to hire strong, passionate employees from the start there will be a smaller likelihood of them losing their passion and seeking other opportunities. When you are interviewing potential candidates, ensure you are asking the right questions. Try to get some detailed knowledge on their experience and passions. Dig deeper than just their love of children. Get curious and show an interest in what they have to say. Try questions similar to “what was an instance where you showed leadership and stepped up at your center” or “what is it that you have loved about previous jobs”. You can also have a trial period where they come in for a few shifts so that you can get a feel for them and they can see what your center environment is all about! 

Before a candidate even agrees to come for an interview, remember that word travels in the childcare community. Many candidates will have heard of your center before and have their outside opinions on it. You want to ensure you have strong leadership that leaves a mark on the people in your center. You want them to speak positively of your center to other members of the community. This will encourage candidates to apply to your positions. Strong leadership also presents itself in a job interview and trial period as you want to make a new educator feel comfortable and welcome. 

Cultivating a positive work environment filled with passionate employees is not an easy task. It takes consistency, purpose, and community. Remember, your energy is contagious. Do what you can to take care of yourself and bring the best version of yourself to your job each day! It will have an immediate positive impact on your colleagues and children!

Make sure to watch the webinar that inspired this blog post here!

Want to learn more about important topics in early education like loose parts play? Sign up for the next webinar below, it is FREE! Even if you can’t join live, you will be emailed the recording and slides just for registering!

Christie White

Christie is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at HiMama. She is passionate about children's development, parenting, and supporting the child care industry. She has been working to support child care centers with their events and marketing for almost a decade. In her personal life, Christie lives in Stouffville, ON with her husband Kyle and dog Tucker. She enjoys going for walks, baking, cooking, and watching reality tv!

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